You know the saying. But do you really take it seriously? Do you understand the value of planning – versus just doing it to do it?
So many people abandon their plans because they think they have a good idea of where their business is headed – they “don’t need a plan” because they’re “on the right track”.
We’ve come up with a formula that makes it pretty easy to see how planning relates to success.
Dreams x Goals x Learn x Plan x Action = Success
You have big dreams and goals. You take action every day. But do you consistently take the right actions to inch closer to these dreams and goals?
Effective plans create bridges between your vision, your strategy, and your execution (the ACTION our coaches stimulate).
Let’s dive deeper into the “why” for planning – and specifically, quarterly planning.
Let’s think about this, though. When you bring in your team for one annual goal-setting/planning meeting, what comes out of it?
Probably a lot of emotional buy-in and the setting of big, huge goals to get everyone fired up for the year.
However, what happens to the execution of these goals, and the accountability from managers and teammates? It fizzles out, especially the minute something goes wrong.
Dialing in your plan every quarter keeps you and your employees accountable to what actually matters.
- Taking ownership of new duties/responsibilities
- Staying consistent
- Buying in to common goals – not just the vision
Why plan for the future if you can’t address the past? Even in tough times, business owners sometimes forget how huge of an impact they have in the community. Celebrate that.
Did you add to your team? Did you push the envelope with a new product or project? Take the time to celebrate these wins with your team or other business owners.
You’ll notice what went right in those past three months. You’ll also expand your vision of what’s possible in such a short amount of time.
The quarterly plan compels you to AFFIRM more often:
“What I am doing in my business is impacting the world for the better – through my customers, employees, community, and family.”
Keep Your Metrics Relevant
Many people assume that as long as they track their KPI’s and relevant metrics, they’ll make smart business decisions.
But you know that running a successful company isn’t just about tracking these metrics. It requires managing and understanding how those metrics match up with your company’s overall objectives.
While long-term goals may require little change throughout the life of the company, short-term goals need quick revision as the business grows and develops.
Don’t believe me? Look what happened early last year. The companies that survived the chaos made quick action plans versus blind reactions. No chance your annual plan remained the same after lockdown.
Reassess your metrics on a quarterly basis no matter what. This will ensure that your company continues to measure what works or whether adjustments are needed.
Strengthen Your Staff
Give your employees a path for success and they will thrive – simple as that. In your planning session, dedicate time for your team to recognize what worked and what didn’t.
Take it one step further – praise employees who consistently meet their goals from the last planning session. This motivates them to set new goals and fosters a culture of internal success. Employee satisfaction will rise, as will company loyalty. I talked about this in last week’s blog on “The Great Resignation.”
You’ve likely heard of SMART Goals (if not, check out this article). Quarterly planning forces your team to make SMART goals. Why? When given a time period of three months, you have to create specific, time-bound goals that you have to measure and hold yourself accountable to when the NEXT planning session comes around.
The sense of urgency, ownership, and accountability that comes with quarterly planning will make it simple for your teammates to create good goals for themselves.
We all know the overall “why” when it comes to planning. You don’t go into battle without one. And you certainly don’t allow your business – your livelihood – to run without one.
Step one? Make a plan. Step two? Have a system that holds you accountable to it. Will that January annual planning session really hold up once fall rolls around? Probably not.
If you want an actionable plan that you won’t abandon, register for our GrowthCLUB on September 24th. You’ll collaborate with other business owners, celebrate wins, receive invaluable coaching, and create a plan of attack for 4th quarter – leaving you prepared to expand the vision of your business for next quarter, next year, and beyond.